'No Jab, No Play': Djokovic Faces Locker Room Ban as ATP Hints at New Curbs for Un-Vaxxed Players

© AFP 2023 / MARTIN KEEPNovak Djokovic of Serbia attends a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 14, 2022
Novak Djokovic of Serbia attends a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 14, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2022
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic is currently keeping a low profile in his native Serbia after losing his courtroom battle against the revocation of his Australian visa. He was earlier granted a medical exemption to participate in the Grand Slam down under but was eventually deported from the country.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic could be banned from locker rooms and other tournament facilities if he continues to remain unjabbed, even if he is allowed to participate in various tournaments following his situation with Australian authorities.
ATP, the governing body of tennis, is set to introduce restrictions for participating unvaccinated players, including a ban from locker rooms and other on-site facilities.

The new rules are already in-effect at ATP's lower-tier competitions – the Challengers in Italy.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic departs the Park Hotel while under immigration detention, to convene with his legal team after his visa to play in the Australian Open was cancelled a second time, in Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2022
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While unvaccinated players won't be barred from featuring in competitions (although they must test negative every 48 hours), they will not be offered access to tournament-related facilities like on-site cafes, hotels, restaurants, and gyms.
The strict rules will not only apply to players but to their support staff as well. Un-vaxxed tennis stars will also not be allowed to bring their partners (WAGs) or family members to tournament venues.
"Unvaccinated PSTs (Player Support Teams) will be permitted on-site only if they are a coach. Please note partners or family members will not be allowed to enter the tournament site," the ATP's document from Italy stated.
In fact, players like Djokovic could find themselves restricted to just playing arenas, that is, practice venues and match courts.
Former two-time women’s Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka urged the tennis authorities to introduce tougher measures. The Belarusian demanded a universal “no jab, no play” rule to be implemented across men’s and women’s tennis.
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